Might as well, jump. JUMP!


As many of you may know, I have been working with a coach myself this past year. I thought it was time for the cobbler to have her own shoes.

As I was leaving my final session this week and exiting the lobby, the song transitioned to “JUMP!” by Van Halen. This was old school Van Halen, the David Lee days. Aaah yes, big hair, scrawny David Lee… 9th grade was beckoning me all over again.

I chuckled for a minute and then I thought, wait a minute. This is no coincidence. This was a definite theme song moment.

Okay, okay, Van Halen and this song in particular, is hardly known for it’s poetic, history-making lyrics. In fact, there are about 20 words in the whole song. But, somehow, it fit the moment. That is definitely how I felt. I felt like jumping, full of enthusiasm. I am filled with a lot of positivity about the future and I feel like jumping.

I love that about music. Often times, when I work with clients and I know they find themselves stuck, I talk to them about music. Is there any song in particular, that when you listen to it, completely shifts your mood, your outlook? For one client of mine, it was an incredible theme song that came out of the Egyptian revolution. For another, it was the sweet and touching… What just makes that little old ant think he can move a rubber tree plant?

There is some powerful writing around music and it’s impact on our brain. One book in particular that I like is The Tao of Music which talks about the invaluable impact of music on our brains and how to leverage it to our benefit. It states, “Sometimes we need to modify our rhythms to harmonize with people and situations around us. One way to do this is with music.”

So, while I’ll be choosing to JUMP!, what will you be choosing to do to shift your mood in the right direction? What music helps you become an engaged, focused leader?

In case  you need a little Friday morning flashback… Jump! Might as well, jump.

Enjoy the holiday!


My Mom, the Mentor

You may have seen my plug over the past couple of weeks for the “Listen to Your Mother” show here in Austin, which happened on April 29th. I had the distinct pleasure of being part of the cast this year. It was quite an honor to be lined up with these talented writers… fun, scary, inspiring.

My piece was entitled, “Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails”… a humorous take on being the mother of two boys. While not shy on humor or public speaking, I haven’t been writing very long for others, let alone about motherhood.

When I first considered what I would write, I immediately thought of two topics… the humor of my boys and the enormous impact of my own mother. It was only the former I knew I could write about and deliver without tears in my eyes.

Plus how could I write a better piece about my mother than two others who spoke of her impact in ways that I’m not sure I ever could? Both were delivered posthumously, one at her memorial by a dear family friend who described her as “an ordinary woman who led an extraordinary life.” This was true. My mother was there for this family friend, like she was for many, at an extraordinary time of need. It was “ordinary” for her to be there for others and be of service.

The second speech was given by Michael Greco as he was accepting his new position at the president of the American Bar Association in 2005. I’d always heard his name growing up; an “old student” of mom’s who kept in touch throughout the years. I thought it was touching on her part, but had no idea the impact she had made until I read his address…

My mother made an amazing impact on Michael Greco. She cared, showed respect, believed in him when no one else did.

As I re-read this address tonight, I couldn’t help but appreciate the irony. I have just spent the past week teaching those very values to leaders, only miles away from the school where my mother taught in Hinsdale. Today on a screen the words we read were “Who believed in you when no one else did?” I guess I could say, who was your “Alice Glass?” And are you believing in others like she did? What legacy of selfless giving will you leave behind? It’s a challenge for all of us not only as leaders, but humans.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom! Thanks for being such a caring, supportive, amazing role model in so many ways. It’s helped me tremendously as an executive coach. We all miss you. Maybe, I’ll stop by the old school tomorrow.

Isn’t it Ironic?

I was driving down the windy road, smile on my face, music turned up to 11. And although it wasn’t Alanis blaring through the speakers, it probably should have been. Isn’t it ironic?

I had just finished leading a three-day offsite for an incredible new client. It was held at the Traavasa Spa, and if you haven’t been there, you should visit. Beautiful, serene, lovely service.

I was contacted a mere few weeks ago by this client and asked to pull together an agenda that would assimilate a new leader, build a trusting team, and plan for 2012. A lot to accomplish in such a short period of time, but I was up for the challenge.

Day one… Check!

Day three… Check!

Day two… hmmmmmm, what to do… this was the day of trust.

The team had all read “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” and while I knew we would have some healthy discussion around this book, they really needed a turn around activity. One that would bond them, inspire them, allow them to experience the exhilarating rush of true team support and encouragement. Even tougher… this was a group of learning and development leaders. They had seen it all.

Enter my friend Tristan Truscott, Sensei Tristan that is. Tristan and I have worked together on several occasions with much success and I thought this team was calling his name.

We began prepping. I briefed him on the team dynamics and desires for the offsite. “Hmmm… interesting,” he said. “I’m not sure what to do yet. I’m going to meditate on that.” Seriously, dude, we are with this team in less than 10 days. Meditate? Cough up an exercise already!

Irony #1… I have deeply been trying to incorporate meditation into my daily life, telling people to breath more, meditate more. And here is someone for whom meditation is not an “event” for the day, but as fluid for him as breathing. It was required space for him to create, to envision, to realize the right activity.

Okay, calm down Linda. He’ll come up with something great. I’ve seen it twice before. Just trust. Let go and trust.

Okay, there it is: Irony #2… I had to trust. I had to let go. I had to practice the very lesson we were about to teach… cultivate and surround yourself with the best energy, build the trust through experience, and with that, the belief in all the possibilities will come.

Fast-forward to the day before the offsite. Tristan and I Skyped and I felt his focus and passion about the meeting. It was contagious. Still no detailed agenda discussed other than I knew we would be breaking boards at the end of the day. Trust, Linda, trust, I whispered to myself.

Day Two arrived… 12:30… 12:40… trust, Linda, trust.. aaah he’s here!

Irony #3… I was there to teach, yet I was the student. I was reminded of the great lessons I already knew… surround yourself with talented, passionate people, trust, let go, and guess what… they deliver. And he did.

SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! The boards broke one by one and with each split, a team divided became a team unified. And it felt amazing. Really amazing.

What a great way to end the week. Thanks to this great team for letting me be part of their lives this week. Thanks to my trusted friend and colleague, Tristan, for reminding me that all the lessons I get to learn are one of the greatest gifts of coaching.